eycel
Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:18 am
Location: USA

Ideas for front of ranch style house landscaping

Iv recently been doing some landscaping around a ranch style house and want some ideas to what kinda shrubs I can plant in the area Iv tilled. Im in a zone 4, in central USA, nebraska. It gets very cold during the winter, sometimes to negitive 50 degrees. I had some ideas, Im going to menards tomarrow to pick up some stuff.

I was thinking of puting in lava rock for the top, also adding some lights maybee 4 or 5. Iv got some plastic edgining im puting down, I was thinking of geting some evergreen yews, as Iv planted some in the back and they seem to be doing well. Iv a few pictures Ill put up, any advice would be greatly apreciated, maybee a quick drawing by some one if they have the software would be cool to. Nothing fancy, just a 5 minute jober would be cool.

These pictures Iv posted are all Hi Res shots, so click on them for a better closer look(Nikon coolpix s550).I have an earl mays near here that has a few plants left but that is about all. I think a 3 plant evergreen yew hedge might look good under the two bedroom windows to the far right of the house. As for the front door, near that area Id like to maybee plant a few ground shrubs that don't get taller then 2 feet, something light color maybee. I just don't want to plant some expensive plants and have it look terible.

One of the reasons Iv tilled so much up by looking at what is tilled, the grass under the giant ash tree is hard as a rock. I cant belive there is even any greeen there. I will end up having to till the entire front yard and seed, but for now just the portion outside of the plastic edging I will put down some peet/sand/top soil mixture with seed that should do the trick. The entire yard is as hard as a rock, its all clay so when ever I want to plant something I have to buy dozens of compost/manure bags and soil to put down. Also Iv recently trimed back both the trees in the pictures, you can see the two bare branches shooting towards the house, I havent decided If im going to leave them or get rid of them, they were hanging over the house by about 20 feet before I chain sawed them a few days ago.

Theres also some sickly looking shrubs as you can see near the front door, there were 5 to begin with but that was before I trimed the ash and they got no sun, I think they were plants that needed alot of sun, I didnt plant them though. Should I get rid of them 2 also, or nurture them for a bit. I variety would kinda be nice but they are easy to rip out, takes only few minutes with these. Would a hedge spaning across the entire front area look good. I seen this hedge yesterday that planted one evergreen 4-5 tall and wide, along side this yellow looking shrub , then another green evergreen, would a color combination of two colors look better? Thanks for any advice. The last picture is a row of evergreen yews I planted in the back of the house recently. I Also put in new plastic edging/weed cover underneeth the new bark that you can see that surrounds the evergreens. Thanks for reading and for any adivice.

ps. One last question, Iv got in my last picture a evergreen yew in front of a window seel as you can see. Would it be ok to leave it there and trim it around the obsticles, or should I move it to the front? It hasnt been in the ground but a month or so. The room under it actually gets water in it when it floods around here, so its always going to be covered by a plastic seal as you can see also. Is it like common sence not to plant a shrub in front of a basement window? Thanks again!
[img]https://i51.tinypic.com/24bno5e.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i52.tinypic.com/13zza0.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i54.tinypic.com/nc031g.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i55.tinypic.com/vzdd6t.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i53.tinypic.com/smsfsx.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i53.tinypic.com/30a72x2.jpg[/img]

update:
Its come to be that time when planting some new things in the front after the work that was done last year needs to be done. I went to menards today and picked up 4 different types of shrubs. I got one in the corner that is a 6-8 feet tall and 6-8 wide juniper that should fill in the large corner section near the steps, in front of the steps are some boxwoods that get 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide. For the front I decided on some red rose rhododendron on the outside of two yews. The red roses get 5-7 feet tall and wide and the yews get 4 feet tall by 6 feet wise.

If taken a bit of time on how to place them. Is there anything anyone can see that I'm doing wrong with the placement? Do I just place them in a line like you see? I kind have them swiveling outward like the plastic boarder goes. Should I put something closer to the house then other? Here are some pictures, its rainy out today but you can get a good idea, also its dark here in Nebraska as its 8 oclock.

[img]https://i52.tinypic.com/fxggj.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i54.tinypic.com/sdk5ev.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i53.tinypic.com/2gtw9e9.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i52.tinypic.com/mrz4i1.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i53.tinypic.com/demniq.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i51.tinypic.com/301kgnr.jpg[/img]

updated

I planted them yesterday, the ground you see if from me reseeding the entire front today. Here is how it turned out.

[img]https://i55.tinypic.com/2lnam2a.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i54.tinypic.com/2lj1grb.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i51.tinypic.com/2ni4imu.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i53.tinypic.com/303acjl.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i55.tinypic.com/2ahseb6.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i51.tinypic.com/33w7c3l.jpg[/img]
Last edited by eycel on Fri Apr 29, 2011 1:40 am, edited 11 times in total.

User avatar
rainbowgardener
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Location: TN/GA 7b

Agree with everything MG said, including that it is probably too late for you to plant now.

A couple other thoughts: Think about expanding the width of your foundation planting area. People often end up with a little narrow strip along their house, that is all out of scale to the size of the house.

Definitely curve the outer edge and don't think hedge, think mixed planting of varied height shrubs with smaller plants and perennial flowers in between them. Just a few shrubs would be fine.

For improved curb appeal, I would think about having a tree person limb up the tree between the garage and front door, so it doesn't block that window and the door as much. Your house will look more welcoming.

Some suggestions of shrubs that would work in your partly shaded zone 4 area (a number of these are available in dwarf varieties that would work well in the size you have):

serviceberry/Juneberry, buttonbush/New Jersey tea, red twig dogwood (like the rest of these it is decidous, loses its leaves in fall, but then the bright red stems are gorgeous against snow), purple nine bark, currant/ gooseberry bush, snowberry/coral berry, viburnum.

The berries, including viburnum will bring birds right under your windows!

For evergreen, there are cultivars of azaleas called Northern Lights, developed at U Minnesota, that should be hardy for you.
Twitter account I manage for local Sierra Club: https://twitter.com/CherokeeGroupSC Facebook page I manage for them: https://www.facebook.com/groups/65310596576/ Come and find me and lots of great information, inspiration

eycel
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Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:18 am
Location: USA

I feel a bit better about going to menards today and picking up my stuff. Im thinking of puting in a row of 6-7 ac lights, the guy at menards tells me that it uses a transformer on a timer and that I will have to plug it into an outlet( I have one left of the front door. Should I intertwine the cord somehow threw a ciment crack and tape it up to the outlet?

I like the idea about having some perenials mixed in with evergreens, or a checkerboard green style also. There were some nice boxwoods at earl mays, but the lady there tells me there not equiped for a zone 4 and that there not the best for winter areas like here (makes me wonder why they have them at all then). Thanks for the ideas, and of course anyone else is welcome to suggest also!

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tomf
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You may want to keep the safety rule in mind, do not give a place for people to hid in. Burglars love tall bushes next to the house.

eycel
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Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:18 am
Location: USA

Are you jokeing about the safety thing? Iv done some more to the landscape today. I put some black felt down for weeds and also some edging. It all went pretty smooth, I also decided to cut down the two branches that were over hanging on the front ash tree. I haden't noticed how they looked before I actually looked at my own pictures and decided they needed to go.

Iv got some ideas about how I want to arange shrubs and perenials, I was thinking of puting in 5 yews that grow about 5 feet tall and wide, one in front of the front door patio, and one in between where the patio ends and the straight starts down to the larger shrubs, then 3 more spaced out 5 feet to the larger shrubs. I think theres room for a coned shape evergreen in the back corner near the front door patio, then one after the 5th yew near the large shrubs, then theres space for a perenial of some sorts near the left side of the tree that covers the front walk to the front porch, and then one on the closest end near the large shrubs. Any ideas would be great though, Im no expert when it comes to design in tree/shrub/perenial placement and color.

The entire front yard though is hard as a rock. Iv already tilled up so much, It feels strange having to replant the entire front yard. How did the soil get so hard? Is there time to plany some seed still? Grass dosnt take that long to grow.


Here are some more pictures of what Iv done so far, Iv got one of my bonsais also and one of me( Iv got some dirt on me and I had a rageing headache).

[img]https://i56.tinypic.com/2duyp7l.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i54.tinypic.com/1zzg7ed.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i55.tinypic.com/nog2tx.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i55.tinypic.com/28996hz.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i56.tinypic.com/t0hmzc.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i55.tinypic.com/jzxhk4.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i52.tinypic.com/27g9h.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i51.tinypic.com/34y32vt.jpg[/img]

eycel
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Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:18 am
Location: USA

Here you can see Iv added rock(red lava rock). It took 43 bags to fill up what you see there. Today is monday, it was raining and overcast when I took the pictures as you can also see. Its officially turned winter here, and Im a bit nasious today from the weather change so please bear with my indecisiveness. The other picture you see with out the rock is just the other side of the driveway.

As you can probubly tell the grass in front is not very good. I think Ill end up having to till up a good portion of it and replant. Any tips would be helpfull. Iv done some reseeding but nothing like this.

Unless any other developments come I wont post any more pictures untill spring when Iv replanted grass and added plants. Thanks for all the replys.



[img]https://i51.tinypic.com/255826h.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i56.tinypic.com/122j4n8.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i52.tinypic.com/10o1gra.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i55.tinypic.com/5x1tp3.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i54.tinypic.com/jzjy8p.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i51.tinypic.com/30beph2.jpg[/img]

User avatar
dorismccomb
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Joined: Thu Nov 25, 2010 8:51 pm
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My Shrub Suggestions

Hi Eycel

I realize that it is now late November, but here are some of my thoughts. I really enjoy planting the various varieties of Dogwoods. You can basically prune them to whatever shape and size you like and they also give winter interest. I garden in a zone 3 climate, so all of my shrubs and perennials are very hardy and can survive -35c (-30F). The Dwarf Cranberry Shrubs are great as well and provide a very colorful fall foliage. If you are looking for a fragrant shrub, why not try planting the re-blooming Dwarf Korean Lilac or the repeat bloomer Bloomerang Lilac. Love them both and you can control the size.

The image below is of my Korean Lilac.

[img]https://www.my-gardening-and-landscaping-makeover.com/images/koreanlilac.jpg[/img]

The image below is the bloom from my Bloomerang Lilac.

[img]https://www.my-gardening-and-landscaping-makeover.com/images/bloomeranglilac2010.jpg[/img]

The image below is my smaller Dogwood Ivory Halo.

[img]https://www.my-gardening-and-landscaping-makeover.com/images/dogwoodandageratum.jpg[/img]

eycel
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Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:18 am
Location: USA

Thanks, Ill definitely be planting a few of those. WhatI want to do is get a semi hedge going with some type of evergreen then space out some of the plants you planted in spots where they would look to decorate the evergreen.

nebraskannie
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Posts: 12
Joined: Mon Dec 13, 2010 9:38 pm
Location: Nebraska, USA

Hey, We're in nebraska, too. Good suggestions above. One more plant we really like as an understory shrub is barberry. There are some small varieties. We like the red leaved ones for some contrast under some oak trees. They're interplanted with irises and other bulbs that bloom at various times that do well in light shade. Glad to see someone else from Nebraska!

eycel
Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:18 am
Location: USA

update:
Its come to be that time when planting some new things in the front after the work that was done last year needs to be done. I went to menards today and picked up 4 different types of shrubs. I got one in the corner that is a 6-8 feet tall and 6-8 wide juniper that should fill in the large corner section near the steps, in front of the steps are some boxwoods that get 5 feet tall and 3 feet wide. For the front I decided on some red rose rhododendron on the outside of two yews. The red roses get 5-7 feet tall and wide and the yews get 4 feet tall by 6 feet wise.

If taken a bit of time on how to place them. Is there anything anyone can see that I'm doing wrong with the placement? Do I just place them in a line like you see? I kind have them swiveling outward like the plastic boarder goes. Should I put something closer to the house then other? Here are some pictures, its rainy out today but you can get a good idea, also its dark here in Nebraska as its 8 oclock.

[img]https://i52.tinypic.com/fxggj.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i54.tinypic.com/sdk5ev.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i53.tinypic.com/2gtw9e9.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i52.tinypic.com/mrz4i1.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i53.tinypic.com/demniq.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i51.tinypic.com/301kgnr.jpg[/img]

User avatar
tomf
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Joined: Mon May 18, 2009 12:15 pm
Location: Oregon

No I was not joking bushes that are low yet make it hard to get at the windows work best. Lighting helps also.

eycel
Newly Registered
Posts: 7
Joined: Tue Oct 19, 2010 1:18 am
Location: USA

I planted them yesterday, the ground you see if from me reseeding the entire front today. Here is how it turned out.

[img]https://i55.tinypic.com/2lnam2a.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i54.tinypic.com/2lj1grb.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i51.tinypic.com/2ni4imu.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i53.tinypic.com/303acjl.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i55.tinypic.com/2ahseb6.jpg[/img]
[img]https://i51.tinypic.com/33w7c3l.jpg[/img]

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